Activists saved a forest near Kyiv: a story of a community that succeeded
Parks, forests, and other green areas in and around cities are gradually being built over, and most times, in disregard of the law. We explain how to preserve a piece of wildlife in the city through the example of an activist who defended the forest near her home
Do you consider Kyiv a green city? According to unofficial data, over 20% of green areas and plantings have disappeared in Kyiv since 2005, and it regards only the ones in the capital. 20% includes parks, 1100 hectares of land. There's no data at all about areas of natural and artificially planted forests been destroyed. Answering questions about how the hectares of plantings have vanished, the authorities skillfully bluff their way out, referring to the absence of official data, underestimating the actual figures, and also to court decisions suspending construction works. It's not strange, because by cooking up simple corruption schemes, developers can easily bite off a tidbit of land and build another multi-apartment high-rise, even if it wasn't planned on the General Plan.
Kyiv was once called "the city in the forest" and the "green capital," but now we have every chance of losing this title. It's not only developers who are to blame. Often decisions on re-qualifying green zones into development zones are made nearly in plain view of residents of the capital's districts and adjacent villages. Local authorities make these decisions under the Ukrainian legislation; the data are open, and anyone can check them.